We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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Fresh and Easy Review 2024: Tried and Tested

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Author Jessica Bain
Jessica Bain
Updated on Feb 21st, 2024
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Fresh and Easy is a special line of easy-to-cook meals by Home Chef. It focuses on kits and ready-to-cook meals that require less time and effort in terms of prep, cooking, and cleanup. But does it live up to its promise? To answer that question, I ordered a delivery from Fresh and Easy and tried it out for myself at home.

I was very impressed with the quality of the ingredients, and with the meals I prepared. Fresh and Easy gets many good reviews from its loyal customers, and after trying these meals I can definitely understand why.

But I also found a few things that concerned me. For example, there’s not a lot of support for vegan or other niche diets. And while the packaging made organizing recipe ingredients easy, Fresh and Easy uses an awful lot of plastic in its shipments. Lastly, it’s also pretty hard to find the Fresh and Easy line among the full Home Chef menu, as I found out the hard way!

If you’re interested in fast, nutritious meals that taste great, Fresh and Easy has a lot to offer. To help you make an informed decision, I’ve provided an unbiased and honest review of the service. Read on and find out if Fresh and Easy is for you. 

Pros

Cons

Sends you excellent produce and meats

The kits use a lot of plastic packaging

You can customize many proteins

Not many options for niche dieters

Recipes are clear and easy to follow

Confusion with Home Chef branding

Current deal – Get 18 Free Meals (45% off your first 5 boxes)!

What’s on the Fresh and Easy Menu

Picture of Fresh and Easy's Chicken with Fig Bacon Jam meal kit
Fresh and Easy’s primary focus is meal kits you can prepare quickly. There’s definitely enough variety here to keep most amateur gourmands interested, but there are also plenty of familiar comfort food options too.

Meal Options

photos of Fresh and Easy's different menu options
When you get to the Home Chef menu, you’ll find Fresh and Easy meals under the following categories:
  • Fast & Fresh – meals that are easy to assemble quickly and heat in the microwave

  • Oven-Ready – dishes that just need a little prep before the oven

  • Express meal kits – like traditional meal kits, only speedier

  • Lunch – microwavable prepared meals for lunch

  • Extras – prepared desserts, bread, protein bundles, and more

The Fresh and Easy menu is smaller than the complete Home Chef menu, with only about 20 of the weekly 32+ meals considered easy recipes. But I still found plenty of options. And I also had access to the entire Home Chef menu, so I can’t complain about the flexibility. 

However, having full access to the Home Chef menu makes it harder to find the easier Fresh and Easy meals – so make sure you’re looking for meals under the categories listed above. I made the mistake of ordering a few standard kits in my order, and these usually take longer. A sampling of prepared single-serving lunches from the Fresh and Easy menu

In addition to accessing the full Home Chef menu, you can also purchase items from Home Chef’s market. You can find prepared lunches, salads, desserts, and protein packs. This saves you time not only on cooking but on grocery shopping.

If I were a vegan or a keto dieter, I would’ve had few, if any, options. Fresh and Easy isn’t really set up for niche dieters. Its target audience is families and omnivores, though it does have a few vegetarian meals available every week.

Fresh and Easy’s menu includes some interesting dishes and taught me a couple of tricks. But those looking for more sophisticated fast suppers with no cooking involved may want to check out Factor’s prepared meals instead.


Diet

Is Fresh and Easy Good For This Diet?

Low-Calorie

Yes, there are lots of options

Low-Carb

Yes, there are lots of options

Vegetarian

Yes, there are a few vegetarian meals

Vegan

No, there are rarely vegan meals

Keto

Sort of, there's a Keto-Friendly preference but not a lot of choice

Organic

Sort of, there are a few organic swaps

Gluten-Free

There's a Gluten-Smart preference, but it’s not suitable for those with Celiac disease or severe Gluten Intolerance


Customization

Fresh and Easy lets you take advantage of Home Chef’s Customize It feature. With Customize It, you can double up or swap proteins on most meals. Just look for the green View Customize It Options at the bottom of the text for meals with customization options. A screenshot of the Fresh and Easy menu with a list of the Customize It options available for Creamy Steak and Chipolte Ranch Pasta.

You can also exclude certain ingredients when you sign up, like pork, beef, shellfish, or sesame. But because meals are prepared and stored in the same areas, Fresh and Easy can’t guarantee against cross-contamination. If you have serious food sensitivities or allergies, I recommend checking out our list of the best allergy friendly meal delivery services.

Unboxing

Photo of the box immediately after the author opened it.
My box arrived on time and in good shape. The insulation not only kept the food cold, but it also kept everything intact and unbroken. There were 3 bags containing most of the ingredients for my meal kits. The proteins were nestled beneath the ice bag to make sure they stayed cold.

It arrived in a Home Chef box, and the kits came in Home Chef bags, so don’t be surprised not to see any separate Fresh and Easy branding. Each kit came with a recipe sheet made of heavy paper. Everything in the bags was well-organized and clearly labeled. But while I appreciate the convenience of having all my ingredients clearly sorted out, these kits use an enormous amount of packaging.  the contents of the One Sheet Brown Sugar Meatloaf kit, much of which consists of wasteful packaging.

This is the meal kit for the One Sheet Brown Sugar Meatloaf. There are 4 pouches of cream cheese and 2 single-serving containers of ketchup. While the plastic used for the bread crumbs, cheese, and garlic salt isn’t ideal, at least it’s recyclable. It’s not just that the ketchup and cream cheese containers are landfill fodder, I found it fiddly to open so many small packets while cooking.

Cooking and Eating with Fresh and Easy

When I signed up, I selected 3 meals that I found appealing. I later discovered that 2 of those meals were rated Intermediate in difficulty (more on this in the Customer Service section). If you sign up via the Fresh and Easy pathway, you might assume every recipe will be rated as Easy, but as you get access to the full Home Chef menu, that’s not the case. I strongly recommend that you check the difficulty rating and recipe for each recipe you select before choosing it.

My wife, whose cooking skills mostly extend to the microwave, felt that these recipes would have left her feeling overwhelmed. I’m an enthusiastic amateur cook, and I had no trouble following the instructions. But if you’re a cooking newbie or lack kitchen confidence, you may want to start with the Fresh & Fast or Oven-Ready meals rather than the meal kits. 

Fortunately, all of the meals feature the full recipes on the site alongside the meals, so you can check for yourself and see if these meals are within your culinary comfort zone before ordering.

Shortlist of My Favorite Meals

To give you an idea of what you can expect when you order from Fresh and Easy, I’ve added a picture of the image on Fresh and Easy’s website alongside a picture of the meal I made at home. My photos were taken with my iPhone, and there was no special lighting or post-processing.

Bacon Crusted Trout with Dilly Green Beans and Cottage Fries

Two photos of Fresh and Easy's Bacon Crusted Trout with dilly green beans and cottage fries, one from the website and the other a photo of the meal the author cooked.
Because this was a fish recipe, I put it first on my cooking lineup. Even knowing it was intermediate beforehand, I still found this by far the most complicated of the 3 recipes. 

The recipe sheet clearly stated every step. Both my wife and I loved the trout and felt the bacon added a lot to it. We were especially impressed by how fresh the green beans were and how the buttermilk and dill dressing brought out their sweetness.

I’ve had trout pulled out of a stream when I was growing up in rural Pennsylvania. While this steelhead trout may not live up to the fish you catch yourself, it has a sweet and delicate flavor like a less assertive salmon. If you want to make a dish for a special dinner occasion, this would be a great choice.

One-Sheet Brown Sugar-Glazed Beef Meatloaf with Loaded Potato Wedges

Two photos of Fresh and Easy's One Sheet Sugar Glazed Meatloaf with loaded potato wedges, one from the website and the other a photo of the meal the author cooked.
This meal is the best representation of what to expect from Fresh and Easy as it was the only meal I chose that fell under the Easy category (and was one of Fresh and Easy’s sheet pan recipes). 

This 4-serving family meal kit includes 1 pound of ground beef for the meatloaf. You also add a few tablespoons of ricotta cheese and panko bread crumbs. While you’re preparing the meatloaf, potato wedges are cooking on a baking sheet.

You heat ketchup and brown sugar on the stovetop until they’re combined. Then you pour the new sauce atop the meatloaves before you put them on the pan with the wedged potatoes. After everything is done cooking, you top the potatoes with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chopped green onions.

The end result was delicious. Our only complaint here is that the meatloaf portions were a bit too small for our liking. Everyone in our household has a healthy appetite, and bigger single-serving meatloafs would have been greatly appreciated.

Chicken with Fig Bacon Jam and Blue Cheese Fondue Green Beans

Two photos of Fresh and Easy's Chicken with Fig Bacon Jam with loaded potato wedges, one from the website and the other a photo of the meal the author cooked.
This was our favorite meal, and the fastest one. This is odd because I’d assumed that the “Easy” rated meatloaf recipe above would have been the quickest. Even though this one was rated as intermediate, it came together quickly. 

The fig and bacon combination made for a delicious sweet and salty complement to the chicken, and we both loved the blue cheese fondue sauce and felt the pan-cooked onions made a great combination with the green beans. 

The recipe requires making the fondue sauce while you’re making the chicken, and then making the fig bacon jam in the hot pan after you remove the chicken. It’s not difficult if you follow the instructions and I think it was deserving of the intermediate label.

I didn’t include blue cheese crumbles or fried onions atop the beans because the pan-fried onions and blue cheese fondue were sufficient for our tastes. The nice thing about Fresh and Easy’s meal kits is that they give you the flexibility you don’t get with prepared meals.

Recipes Summary



Difficulty Level

Estimated Cook Time

Actual Cook Time

Calories Per Serving

Best For

Bacon Crusted Trout

Intermediate

40-50 minutes

45 minutes

580

A nice romantic dinner

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Easy

40-50 minutes

45 minutes

660

A family dinner

Chicken w/Fig Bacon Jam

Intermediate

30-40 minutes

30 minutes

590

A quick but delicious dinner

Prices

Starting From

Order Size and Price (Before Shipping)

Shipping Fee

$11.99 per portion

2 meals for 2 people/week: $47.96 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

3 meals for 2 people/week: $59.94 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

4 meals for 2 people/week: $79.92 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

5 meals for 2 people/week: $99.90

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

6 meals for 2 people/week: $119.88 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

2 meals for 4 people/week: $79.92 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

3 meals for 4 people/week: $119.88 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

4 meals for 4 people/week: $159.84 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

5 meals for 4 people/week: $199.80 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

6 meals for 4 people/week: $239.76 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

2 meals for 6 people/week: $119.88 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

3 meals for 6 people/week: $179.82 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

4 meals for 6 people/week: $239.76 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

5 meals for 6 people/week: $299.70 

$10.99

$9.99 per portion

6 meals for 6 people/week: $359.64 

$10.99

From the table above, it looks like Fresh and Easy charges a one-size-fits-almost-all price. However all of Home Chef’s menu items are priced individually, so these are only estimated prices. Your weekly total will vary week by week, depending on what you order.

Premium options cost more, with some meals that feature ingredients like filet mignon going for over $20 per serving. You may also have to pay extra to customize an order, especially if you choose organic meat, premium cuts, or seafood. And you’ll also find family meals that cost $7.99 per serving. Screenshot of Fresh and Easy's Steak Strip and Gnocchi Gratin ($12.99/serving) and Sesame Wonton Salmon ($13.99/serving).

If you shop at the Fresh and Easy Market, you’ll find single-serving lunches at $9.98 each, along with desserts for 2 ranging from $5.99 to $9.99. And Bundle and Save meals for 2 people cost between $12.99 and $16.99, with bread bundles. Shipping is a flat rate of $10.99.

These prices are pretty standard for the meal delivery service market. You’ll find budget services like Dinnerly that cost less and specialty meal delivery services that cost a good deal more. But overall, I would say that Fresh and Easy is a good price-to-value proposition.

You can get discounts on your Fresh and Easy order if you’re a first responder, hospital worker, teacher, or active duty military personnel. You can also take advantage of our special Delivery Rank discount: Get 18 Free Meals (45% off your first 5 boxes)!.

Shipping & Delivery

Fresh and Easy ships to 98% of the continental United States (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii). When you sign up you enter your zip code. If there are any issues delivering to your area, you’ll see an error message right away. Map showing Fresh and Easy's delivery area

Just like Home Chef, Fresh and Easy lets you pick a default delivery day for your shipments. I had a choice between any weekday, but if you live in a more rural area, you may only be able to choose between 3 or 4 days.

Fresh and Easy provided a tracking number, and my shipping arrived precisely on schedule. The box was in good shape, which shows it was sturdy enough to handle FedEx shippers.

How Fresh and Easy Works

When you click the sign-up button on the Fresh and Easy website, you’re redirected to a Home Chef branded page. Here’s an easy, illustrated explanation of how to subscribe:

How to Sign Up

  1. Enter your email and zip code to confirm Fresh and Easy is available in your area. You can also answer some optional questions. This is to confirm Fresh and Easy is available in your area. There are also a couple of optional questions.

Screenshot of the opening page for your Fresh and Easy signup

  1. Fill in your dietary preferences. This helps Fresh and Easy customize your recommendations. These questions determine your ingredient likes and dislikes, and you should avoid Fresh and Easy if you have serious food sensitivities or allergies.

Screenshot of the Fresh and Easy quiz that asks about your preferences an dislikes

  1. Check if you’re eligible for a discount. If you’re not, don’t worry. Fresh and Easy regularly offers discount promo codes to its customers.

Screenshot of Fresh and Easy's discount page, where they offer discounts for military personnel, first responders, teachers, and other groups.

  1. Decide on the size of your weekly order. It’s easy to change your subscription later, so don’t worry too much about it. You’ll get a total for your cost on this order. Future orders may cost slightly more or less, depending on what meals you choose.

Screenshot of your order page, where you decide how many meals and servings you want per week.

  1. Add your billing details. You can pay by credit card or Paypal. Fresh and Easy will tell you exactly when your payment method will be charged for this order and going forward.

Screenshot of the billing page, which also has a PayPal option.

  1. Choose your meals. You have to complete the sign-up process and provide a payment method before you can see all the menu options. Yes, I find this frustrating as well.

Screenshot of the meals chosen by the author for this review

Managing Your Subscription

You can skip a week of Fresh and Easy at the click of a button. Navigate to Your Upcoming Orders to see your orders listed by date. Click the Skip Week button to cancel that week’s order. If you change your mind, just hit Unskip.

You can also amend your order here by clicking Edit Meals. To remove a meal, click the Remove button (or the Trash icon in the app). Then, to add a meal, click Add to Order. This is also where you’ll see the Customize It options for the recipes you can alter. Image of Fresh and Easy's "Skip Week" button, which lets you skip a week if you don't want a delivery.

To change your delivery day, hit Manage Delivery under the order date. You can change the delivery address for a specific week too. This is useful if you’re out of town but still want your meal box.

You have to skip or make changes by 12 pm CST on the Friday before the scheduled delivery week. Be sure to double-check you’ve saved your changes.

Canceling your first order is more complicated. It’s scheduled automatically when you sign up, so you have to manually remove each meal from your order. When the order is empty, it will automatically be canceled.

Customer Service

All customer service is handled by Home Chef, and if you have a question, you’ll have to check out the Home Chef FAQ. This branding confusion extends to the menu. Even if you sign up via freshandeasy.com, you’ll be redirected and order your Fresh and Easy meals from the main Home Chef page. Screenshot of the Home Chef menu, with the Fresh and Easy meals marked in a green highlight box

I really wish that there was a better brand distinction between the 2. At the top of the Home Chef menu, you find the Meal Kits section. The Express, Oven-Ready, and Fast & Fresh meals are the meals that Home Chef considers part of its Fresh and Easy line. But there’s no clear delineation between the meal types. In the past, you used to be able to select the Fresh and Easy plan during sign-up that would reorder the menu, but that’s no longer available.

It turns out, in a rather embarrassing twist, that 2 of the meals I chose were Home Chef meal kits. Only the One Sheet Meatloaf was a Fresh and Easy meal.

I considered re-ordering. But then I realized that I’ve been reviewing meal delivery services as my day job for several years. If even I got confused by Home Chef’s webpage and ordered several more complicated meal kits, chances are most people might make this mistake. I wanted to make that clear in this review.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the meals I received and didn’t find them especially difficult. But most people who sign up for Fresh and Easy are looking for fast meals. It would be much more helpful if Home Chef had a menu filter for this line of low-prep meals (or a separate menu like they do for family-friendly meals), rather than customers having to guess based on the meal kit type and difficulty level. A screenshot of Home Chef's Contact Us page, which is also the Fresh and Easy contact us page.

This confusion is more of a general website issue, however. Home Chef’s customer service is excellent and can answer all your Fresh and Easy questions. The Home Chef FAQ is clear and well-detailed and will answer most of your questions about shipping, delivery, ingredients, or other issues.

You can reach customer support by phone at 872-225-2433 or toll free at 855-949-3049. Phone hours are from Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm Central Time, and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. You can also reach Live Chat on Mondays 9 am to 9 pm CT, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm.

Cancelation is easy, although Home Chef says it has “Paused” your account rather than simply canceling your subscription. You’ll find a complete 3-step walkthrough in our how to cancel Home Chef guide. I was able to cancel my subscription within minutes after my box and didn’t have to jump through any hoops to do so.

How Fresh and Easy Compares to Other Meal Delivery Services

  • Fresh and Easy vs Green Chef: While Fresh and Easy offers some organic protein swaps, Green Chef is the first certified organic meal delivery service. Green Chef also offers more extensive selections for vegans and keto dieters, but it’s considerably more expensive per serving than Fresh and Easy. The prep time is also longer than a Fresh and Easy meal kit, and there are no customization options.

  • Fresh and Easy vs Factor: While Fresh and Easy offers oven-ready meals and quick meal kits, Factor sends you microwaveable prepared meals. But all Factor meals are single-serving, so it might not be a good choice if you’re feeding a family. Factor offers an extensive selection of extras and has a great selection of keto-friendly and vegan meals.

  • Fresh and Easy vs. HelloFresh: While both services offer quick meal kits, HelloFresh has a considerably larger weekly menu and a bigger selection in the HelloFresh Market. HelloFresh also uses less plastic and more recyclable packaging than Fresh and Easy. The prep times are clearly displayed on the menu, with many recipes tagged as Easy Prep and Quick. 

The Bottom Line: Is Fresh and Easy Worth It?

Let’s phrase that question differently: is Home Chef worth it? Because Fresh and Easy is just a selection of meals under the Home Chef brand, rather than its own plan or service. After trying these meals, my answer is a qualified “yes.”

The meal kits I received featured fresh, high-quality ingredients. The recipe cards were clear and easy to follow, and the results were delicious. Home Chef has a good selection of fast meal kits and oven-ready meals in its Fresh and Easy line, and I wasn’t disappointed by any of the meals I prepared.

I only had 2 complaints really, and neither are about the meal quality. First, is eco-friendliness. I didn’t like that Fresh and Easy used so many single-serving ingredient pouches and packages. There’s a lot of plastic and all those little packets are fiddly to cook with. 

Secondly, I wish Home Chef made it clearer as to which meals came under its Fresh and Easy line. As an experienced reviewer who’s been writing about this brand for years, I still managed to choose the wrong thing. 

It’s not enough to just check the estimated cooking time on the menu. A meal you assemble and bake for 45 minutes could be a simple Fresh and Easy option. A dish requiring multiple steps and demanding your complete attention for 45 minutes would be more complex. My advice is to check the difficulty level and have a quick look through the number of steps in the recipe online to make sure you’re getting the simplest offerings.

FAQ

Is Home Chef the same as Fresh and Easy?

Fresh and Easy is a line of low-prep meals within the Home Chef brand. The Fresh and Easy lineup includes speedy Express meal kits, oven-ready dishes, and prepared meals. But when you sign up for Fresh and Easy, you’re taken to the Home Chef site, and all orders arrive in Home Chef bags and a Home Chef box.

How much does Fresh and Easy cost?

You’ll find some meals for $7.99 per serving, like the One-Sheet Brown Sugar-Glazed Meatloaf I cooked for this review. You’ll also find some premium meals ranging from $10.99 to over $20 per serving. However, the majority of meals on the Fresh and Easy menu cost $9.99 per serving.

Can you customize Fresh and Easy meals?

Fresh and Easy lets you use Home Chef’s Customize It feature on many meals. With Customize It, you can swap shrimp for steak, organic chicken breasts for regular chicken, and veggie Impossible Burger for ground beef. Your customization options will vary with each recipe, and you may have to pay an upcharge for some customizations.


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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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